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Hanshin Tigers 3 - Rakuten Eagles 1
Masahiro Tanaka (7 IP, 5 H, 6 K, BB, 3 R, 3 ER) retired the first 14 batters in order. He gave up a walk in the 5th and a double in the 6th, but nothing more until the top of the 8th, when he suddenly fell back down to earth by giving up a lead-off triple to Shinjiro Hiyama (1-for-2, BB, 3B), an RBI single to Ikuro Katsuragi (1-for-4, R, RBI), an RBI triple to Keisuke Kano (1-for-3, IBB, 3B, R, RBI), and finally an RBI single to Keiichi Hirano (1-for-3, RBI). In a span of just 17 pitches, the Tigers collected 2 triples, 2 singles, and 3 runs.
The Tigers would have another chance in the top of the 9th when they pur runners on first and second with 2 out, but Aarom Baldiris (0-for-1) ended the threat when he flew out to short.
Yuya Ando (7 IP, 5 H, 4 K, BB, R, ER) got the start for the Tigers and held the Eagles to a run on 5 hits over 7 innings of work. But Ando did get some help from the opposition during his last inning (the 7th) of work: the Eagles had runners on first and third with only 1 out, but Motohiro Shima (0-for-3) struck out to end the inning and one of the heroes from yesterday's game, Masato Nakamura (3-for-4, 2B), was caught off third for the final out of the inning.
The Eagles also put runners on first and third with one out in the bottom of the 8th and then managed only 1-run after loading the bases with no out in the bottom of the 9th.
Naoto Watanabe picked up right where he left off, going 3-for-5 with 2 doubles and a run scored.
Time: 3h 9m
Chiba Lotte Marines 1 - Yomiru Giants 1
This was a fairly important start for Seth Greisinger and he came through pretty well: 7 IP, 5 H, 5 K, BB, 1 R, 0 ER. Unfortunately it didn't do much for his win total, primarily because the Giants' offense has been sputtering a bit as of late.
As a team, the Giants went 9-for-44 in the game and left 9 men on base. Their sole run came in the top of the 6th when Yoshiyuki Kamei (3-for-4, BB, HR, R, RBI) hit his 4th homer of the season. The Giants actually had their best chance to score in the top of the second when Kamei led off the inning with a single. Seung-Yeop Lee (0-for-1) fouled out for the first out of the inning, but Shigeyuki Furuki (1-for-5) singled to put runners on first and second with only 1 out. But Kazunari Tsuruoka (1-for-5) grounded out to third and Takahito Kudo (0-for-2) flied out to center for the final out of the inning.
So aside from giving up a solo home run, Naoyuki Shimizu (7.1 IP, 8 H, 3 K, R, ER) did a good job keeping the Giants from scoring any additional runs over the 7.1 innings he worked. But if not for an error to start the bottom of the 7th that allowed Tadahito Iguchi (0-for-5, R) to reach first, and then ultimately score on Tomoya Satozaki's (1-for-4, BB, RBI) RBI single, Shimizu may have been on the losing end of the stick.
Marc Kroon tossed the last 2 innings for the Giants and made things interesting in the bottom of the 12th. After retiring the first two batters of the inning on a strike out and fly out, Kroon walked Satozaki on 6 pitches and then surrendered a single to Toshiaki Imae (2-for-5). But Kroon bore down and got pinch-hitter Hisao Heiuchi to strike out looking.
The Giants have played to a tie in 3 of their last 4 games. ... Hiroyuki Kobayashi made an appearance in relief for the first time in 6 years.
Chiba Lotte Marine
Time: 4h 4m
Softbank Hawks 3 - Yokohama Bay Stars 0
Yoshiaki Fujioka (6 IP, 2 H, 3 K, 3 BB, 0 R) starts for the Hawks and held the Bay Stars to just 2 hit and 3 walks over 6 innings of work. Takahiro Mahara tossed a perfect 9th for his 10th save of the season.
Over the first 4 innings of the game, the Bay Stars could not get a hit but did manage to take 2 walks in the first. In the top of the 5th with 2 outs, Takeshi Hosayamada recorded the first hit for the Bay Stars; Takehiro Ishikawa (1-for-3) followed with another single; but Tatsuya Shimozono (0-for-4) ended the inning when he flied out to center. The Bay Stars had their final chance in the top of the 8th on consecutive hits by Seiichi Uchikawa (1-for-4, 2B) and Shuichi Murata (1-for-2, 2 BB) that put runners on first and third with 2 outs. But Takahiro Saeki ended the threat when he grounded out to second.
Les Walrond (6.2 IP, 7 H, 3 K, 5 BB, 3 R, 3 ER) had a rough start for the Bay Stars, particularly over the first 2 innings of the game where he gave up 3 runs: 2 walks in the first inning helped load the bases with 1-out; a ground-out by Hiroki Kokubo (0-for-4, RBI) pushed across the first run of the game and a single by the next batter, Hitoshi Tamura (2-for-4, RBI), scored the second run; and the third run scored on a lead-off homer by Hidenori Tanoue (1-for-4, HR, R, RBI) in the second. Walrond would settle down after that and limit the Hawks to 3 hits (and 3 walks) over 4.2 innings of work.
This will mark the third time that Bay Stars have lost 5 in a row. ... The Hawks are 6 games over .500 for the first time in 2 years and are currently on a 4-game winning streak.
Time: 2h 46m